The “old coin collector” scheme is something that has been going on for quite a while now. To recap, scammers pose as old coin collectors and leave comments on Facebook or Instagram posts, claiming they are looking to buy old notes and coins.
Those who respond to the messages are met with a high-value offer in exchange for the old money. Like a classic scam, sellers will then be asked for their bank account details so these “collectors” can transfer money to them online or via telegraphic transfer. After that, sellers will be told that the money has been transferred, but their accounts are blocked. The scam then goes on with a caller pretending to be from Bank Negara or the Malaysian Customs informing the sellers that they have commited a crime and are required to pay a fine to unblock their accounts and receive the payment they are owed. Of course, at the end of the whole set up, victims of these scammers do not get a single cent.
Recently, a 22-year old woman lost RM 12,000 after falling for one of these scams. The “collector”, who said he was an American, contacted the victim via Instagram and expressed interest in her collection of old coins. Chief District Police of Cheras, Assistant Commissioner Mohamed Mokhsein Mohamed Zon told Harian Metro that the victim was asked to make payment in US dollars in order to activate the transaction. The suspect further told the victim that the money would be returned to her after the transaction was activated.
He added that the victim felt something was amiss after completing a number of online transactions which amounted to RM 12,000, and that was when she stepped forward to lodge a report at the Cheras Police Station. Further investigations are ongoing. We suggest you always stay alert and do not fall prey to such dodgy offers.
Have you ever fallen prey to scammers?
By: Celestine Foo